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  1. I don’t know why you think that Atheist people are not thinkers?
    Although I don’t believe in a god, I did go to a christian highschool and I learned a lot about the religion. The point you make in this video about a fish body with a dog head is completely untrue…
    and about the creation of the universe. This is how I like to see it…
    It is called the Big Bang THEORY, which means it is not taken as fact…it is our best guess of what happened with the information we currently know. I don’t think it is considered smart to, just because your question on the creation of the universe cant be answered at this point in history, to say that your explanation is better. Your explanation has just as crazy of a premise… I have to believe that there is an all powerful deity who is outside of time and has the ability to create and destroy anything he wants….
    This is easier to suggest as a starting point but it is no more true than the Big Bang theory…there is no proof…both need the believer to take a “leap” in terms of unknown info and both are, at this point, unverifiable..

    So please respect the fact that neither option is the answer. The answer is we just dont know

    1. You were somewhat correct in saying that our explanation isn’t any better than yours. And although basically that maybe true. Think about the conentation you are implying. Just because you choose to believe the big bang theory does not mean that it is true. And just because i choose to believe in a creator does not make him true either of course. That being said we can conclude that our belief system is fallible in either case. However, i do believe that the atheistic view is a great leap of faith than the theist view.

    2. nothing about whether thsiem is better than athsiem, or vice versa, nor did I explore or commend the truth of either (at least not in this thread). I specifically mentioned, for clarity’s sake, that your essay is not as strong as it could be because it lacks any discussion of what constitutes a religious belief and what does not. Athsiem may be the absence of belief, as you assert, but that doesn’t in itself make it a non-religious belief, since there are religions that are atheistic. What is essential to a religious belief that makes it religious? And what is essential to weak athsiem, or even strong athsiem, that makes either non-religious? There have been, as you know, strict materialists men and women who believe matter is the only ultimate reality who have nonetheless written poetry, pure paeans of joy, to the power of evolution and progress; to the triumphant liberties gained when mankind, finally unchained from superstition, gleefully spins “down the ringing grooves of change. In other words, it is possible for materialists to worship, laud, and adore materiality and even call people to obey. (We see such neo-pagans worshiping every day; surely you’ve seen what I’ve seen in downtown Burlington.)So I did not do what you’ve claimed. Second, I remain uncomfortable with your argument that athsiem, the condition in which you were ostensibly born, is not just a default setting but represents an unlearned behavior. I would think just the opposite is the case. Toddlers and children are eager to believe in God and fairies and sprites and monsters and ghosts. Children constantly enter into a state of pretend; they even create their own mysteries, tales; they also create playmates. To many children, the world is an enchanted place; magic is everywhere. All this, of course, might be learned. I offer that it is. But the default setting of children, as far as I can tell, is eagerness to believe. Children, at least the vast majority of them, are hardly born skeptics. (And any adult who claims he or she was always skeptical is, I am willing to bet, rewriting history in order to protect some conceit.) Credulity is a strikingly common post-natal human trait. Clearly, as children mature, they toss aside beliefs that were fabrications, mere fantasies. But surely not all fantasies; surely not all that is imagined is lost as children mature. In fact, where would even science be, let alone the arts, without imagination, without curious minds believing in things unseen, untouched, and, in a strict sense, unknowable? Yet even if we grant that children grow skeptical, into the sort of skeptical adults we all have come to know, it would be a mistake, even an outlandish one, to suggest skepticism is unlearned. If there is anything learned in all of this it is skepticism, doubt; disbelief. We teach our children to ask tough questions, to challenge authority. We give them tools to find their way through mazes of disinformation, junk, intellectual pollution; tools like logic, which is, without question, something children learn. So I disagree with you about what is learned and what is not: belief and doubt, or belief and disbelief, are learned behaviors. So, too, is unbelief, or non-belief; both are always the result of having learned how to assess information, using learned skills and processes. (If we talk about the absence of belief, we are essentially talking about nothingness. To even discuss the absence of belief in ANY thing is to engage the intellect all that is learned to reflect on what the intellect cannot believe, since it is absent. It is essentially a meaningless endeavor.)The New Oxford American Dictionary gives this terse definition of athsiem: “The theory or belief that God does not exist.” Note the assumption in the first definiens a theory; all theories require one to employ all one has learned. Note the assumption in the second definiens a belief. The same dictionary describes belief as “an acceptance that a statement is true.” The assumption, again, is that one accepts based on what one has learned. You also wrote this: I didn’t know anything about anything when I was born, that’s how I know I was born an atheist. I was born not believing in god because the idea of god was not something I knew about – so I couldn’t have believed in god.Well, I was born not believing in ANYTHING, because the idea of anything was not something I knew about so I couldn’t have believed in anything. Surely you see that your argument is not particularly compelling! And surely you realize that if there is a God, God is not going to program His creatures for instant and immediate belief; no God would do such a thing. God, should He exist, wants our lives to be our own, including our belief in His existence. He wants our whole being to be co-created, so to speak: He wants me to love Him freely, from the depths of my own being, my own will. So, too, belief in His existence: He’s not in the habit of determinism, a nasty habit if there ever was one. He’s about freedom, about discovery, inquiry. To “believe” at birth, to believe even before reflection or cognition, is not only impossible, it’s anathema to a healthy soul. Doubt, as you know, is even honored in the gospel narratives; Christianity “gets it” when it comes to doubt. Jesus does not rebuke the “Doubting Thomas.” Instead, He willingly submits to Thomas’ need for empirical justification, for the tactile and visual proof Thomas’ inquiry seeks. All this to say two things, namely, that doubt, skepticism, and even cynicism are learned behaviors, and any serious commentary that implies belief in God at birth is either possible or desirable is profoundly mistaken. If belief in God is to be rejected because it is a learned behavior, so too is disbelief, since disbelief is also a learned behavior. Sheer unknowing, akin to the cognition of an infant, is not some baseline; everything about us is learned. Lastly, whether athsiem is a religion is still a matter of inquiry. You haveagreed that thsiem is not a religion; you’ve affirmed that there are atheistic religions, and that it is possible to be a theist and not be religious at all. It would seem, then, that you’ve placed thsiem and athsiem in the same category. What is that category if not religion? For me, athsiem and thsiem are indeed theories about First Things, about ultimate reality, or even about Final Things. Both are rooted in faith-based axioms; they are intellectual positions taken to interpret reality. In that, they are both metaphysical descriptors. ______Look, I believe in something, like the resurrection of Christ. You don’t believe in this. But you DO believe in something: you believe the universe shows us that there is no resurrection at all. You don’t KNOW this; this is not something plainly given to you with absolute proof by the universe in some quasi-revelation (and this you admit in your “weak athsiem”). Yours is a faith-based belief, as is mine. Both, contrary to popular opinion, are also firmly rooted in reason. Charity, I know there is nothing I can do or say that will convince you that thsiem especially Christian thsiem is intellectually viable or compelling. I am merely talking with you about things. I can’t change your mind, though you might change mine. Why would I say that? Because Christian faith is hard; it even warns of the inherent struggles one will find in embracing such a seemingly absurd belief. Such reminds me of something G. K. Chesterton once said: “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and not tried.” His remark affirms one thing, that Christianity is at least hard, especially in a world that not only rejects it, but pretty much hates it. So, I don’t know if my faith will survive the onslaught of accusations and mockeries to which it daily submits; nor do I know if I have the fortitude to maintain my pilgrimage toward God. I am vulnerable, no doubt, and I can’t pretend I am not. But if Helen Keller is right, that “life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all,” then I think Christianity without challenge, without obstacles and detours and traps, would be utterly dulling, uninteresting to the Nth-degree. It is an adventure, that’s for sure, and I press on. Like Frodo. Peace to you.

  2. I never said that I choose to believe something it is true. I specifically said that it is a theory…which basically means it is a guess, an attempt to explain…but I never said true

    and the atheistic view is not a greater leap of faith simply because the atheistic view is attempting to explain the amazing world we live in WITHOUT faith. Only at this point in time, where we admittedly dont know very much is there any leap needed.

    1. Any conclusion outside the realms of science is a faith based concept. This would include of course any “theory” imagined of spoken of or believed in. To say that your guess is better than mine is shear vanity. The leap of faith on the atheistic side is indeed greater because cause and effect which is a basic scientific fact is not considered. Or indeed they prescribe some intelligence to nature itself which eliminates your atheistic premise.

  3. Once again, I never ever said that my guess was better so please understand.

    what I am saying is that we can’t know for sure what happened “at the beginning” …
    but inventing some supreme being who is all powerful, outside of time and can not be proven is not an answer.

    It is not intelligent to create an answer out of faith just because you dont know the answer.

    1. I do believe that i m not the 1 who invented the supernatural beings. Of course i m not the 1 who invented the big bang theory either. However any theory no matter how plausible mustbe examined under the microscope of intelligence. The method of an atheist such as yourself is to excuse any such intelligent beginning. Indeed this is a very narrow minded point of view. Putting every aspect of religious view or morality aside i can honestly conclude that an intelligent beginning is plausible. However i could be dishonest with myself and say that a well established cause and effect is only effective today. Design is all around us and that is why i believe in cause and effects processes.

  4. I didnt mean you specifically…i mean the idea of creating a God to explain the seemingly unexplainable.

    and yes the world we live in blows my mind. It is amazing and we can both agree on that.
    But where you see obvious signs of God, I see how lucky we are that the world works in this way and how awesome it is that we can enjoy it and try to understand it.

    1. There is still no logical conclusion there. Oh I have many unanswered questions but the plausible answer is what I am going with. The laws that govern every natural principal are not natural in themselves and are unanswered. This leads me to the very sound scientific reasoning that cause and effect has to be the reason. Until that very sound principal is proven wrong I will believe in it. Therefore I am a theist and will remain so until proven otherwise. All I am asking is to show me where this cause and effect principal has been proven wrong, even 1 time! Until then the probability of a supernatural beginning is a plausible reason.

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